Polyplay was the only arcade machine, which was developed in the German Democratic Republic (GDR).


It was developed by state-owned enterprise VEB Polytechnic Karl- Marx-Stadt and manufactured from 1986 to 1989. Total left in this period about 2000 machines the work. The case was brown and was made by the furniture manufacturer VEB space art Mosel ( Zwickau ).

The machine was sold to preferred fdgb holiday homes and public institutions. A machine cost around £ 22,000 Mark (East).


The Polyplay ran with a Zilog Z80 clone ( U880 ), who was clocked at 2.4576 MHz, and its own sound system (mono).

He supported a color palette of ten colors and ran in an image resolution of 512 × 256 pixels with 50 Hertz on the therefore built behind a glass panel color TV ( RFT COLORMAT 4506 ).

Behind the Marquee there were eight colored lights that formed a light organ and were controlled by the motherboard. Further, the number of games played is stored.


A total of eight games were available.

  • Deer hunting (similar to Robotron: 2084 )
  • Rabbit and wolf (similar to Pac -Man, based on Russian TV cartoon " Nu, Prognosis !")
  • Downhill skiing
  • Butterflies
  • Shooting gallery
  • Car racing (similar to Gran Trak 10, the first racing simulation )
  • Wish game ( also Opto - acoust. Memo game )

There were four more games planned. In machine code there are notes on the following games: The Gardener, In The Greenhouse, hailing clouds, the diver. At least two of those games were also installed on some machines.

The license status of the games ( ROMs) is unclear after closure of the successor company Polytechnic Frankenberg GmbH in 2006. The games were never officially free software, however, were from sites such as MAME before closing referred to as such. Apparently it is abandonware.


Built for 50 pfennig coin of the machine was inadequate. He could be relatively easy trick with a one- penny - piece when you pressed it to the top of the coin slot and so the penny was more kinetic energy to the ball, the pressure sensor was outwitted in this way. Because the machine should not deserve the money, but for entertainment in FDGB boarding houses serve, youth hostels and clubs, this was often tolerated. In some clubs, the machine also ran with a deactivated coin, but the crowd was then very high.

The coin you could disable with some skill itself by the lock of the vending machine with a nail file, or as the holder with the matching key, opened and the switch ( a normal built-in light switch) pressed down easy. Then you could without paying, play as long as you wanted (normal free play mode).

Since 2000 Polyplay (Version 2 with eight games and the selection menu ) is MAME emulated. The Polyplay Version 3 ten games is not currently available. Some games also run on the DDR Home Computer KC85 - fourth

There is also a novel by Marcus Hammerschmitt, who also has this game on the topic.


The whereabouts of many devices is unclear, two devices are at the club Retro Games eV one is in the Computer Game Museum Berlin.

It was also a Machine under the Game On exhibition, on view from October 21, 2006 to February 25, 2007 the London Science Museum.